tv Your Money CNN February 16, 2013 10:00am-11:00am PST
here's a lock at some of the top stories this hour. the vatican is considering moving up the date to choose a successor for pope benedict xvi. the conclave could start before march 14th if all the cardinals are already in rome. 117 cardinal electoring will choose the new pope after benedict retires on february 28th. a nurse is suing a michigan hospital for allegedly agreeing to a man's request that african-americans not care for his baby. the lawsuit says managers at the hurley medical center reassigned the african-american nurse after the father made the request. the hospital has not responded to cnn's request for a comment. wall mar's stock took a nosedive on friday after an internal e-mail published by
bloomberg news quoted an executive saying february sales were a, quote, total disaster. the stock for the world's largest retailer plummeted shortly after that before making a slight recovery. walmart reports its fourth-quarter earnings next week. later this afternoon, join me for all the latest news, plus we'll take fashion week to the next level with high-tech clothing. dr. sanjay gupta will give us his diagnosis on lady gaga's injury. got to hear about that. and i go shooting with rocker and gun activist ted new gent. first, a recession in europe, an economic storm in washington so, why is ali velshi convinced a renaissance may be at hand for the u.s. economy? find out right now on "your money." despite a recession in europe, major mergers in the united states show evidence that business is picking up. america could be on the road to prosperity if not for our politicians standing on the way. i'm ali velshi.
this is "your money." there's ap economic storm hovering just off our shores. the headwinds are gathering strength as our elected official once again seem prepared to take the american economy to the brink of destruction. this time over a march 1st deadline for the across-the-board government cuts known as the sequester. >> this is not a game. this is reality. >> i don't like the sequester. it's taking a meat axe to our government. >> these steps would seriously damage the fragile american economy. >> still fragile enough that four years after the recession the u.s. economy actually shrank in the last three months of 2012. the storm clouds were ready to blow away and washington basically called them back. >> i think we're all aware that we have some urgent business to do. >> if not for indecisive, uncompromising, and polarizing
politicians, america's economy could take off again. >> we are producing more energy and america can become an energy exporter. >> we're in the midst of an energy boom and it's lowering the price of electricity and bringing manufacturing back to america. a housing boom fueled by the lowest interest rates in history. and 35 months of private sector job creation. america's future could be great. >> i'd like to focus on what lies beyond the fiscal debate. >> i'd like to, too. but that's not possible the with a sequester deadline about to descend on the american economy. when will washington's small thinking about big problems end? if this week is any indication the dysfunction won't end anytime soon. earlier this week we learned the euro area experienced its third straight quarter of negative growth. gdp there fell by 0.6%, the worst since 2009. europe has been experimenting
with austerity. the deep cuts to government spending that have failed to turn the euro area economies around. unemployment in the euro area is 11.7%. some countries like spain and greece above 25%. washington is less than two week ace way from austerity in the form of the sequester. $85 billion in automatic across-the-board spending cuts that are set to take effect on march 1st. i'm joined by my good friend, christine romans. john avlon is a cnn contributor and senior columnist at "newsweek" and the daily beast. margaret hoover is a cnn political contributor and republican consultant. christine, let's start with you. economists warn the sequester could lead to a recession. that's not scaring business away. american airlines and us airways will merge. warren buffett is buying heinz. michael dell is taking his company private. there's business going on. as you've said before,
uncertainty is the new normal. >> absolutely. you see these movements within the corporate sphere that are telling us that they are trying to be on the offense. at the same time, you see a retrenchment deepening in europe. that europe story is so instructive for the discussion going on about the skweser in washington. by the way, there's going to be a ten-day break coming up for your elected officials, for our elected officials, so they don't have much time to get this straightened out. when you look at companies in america and merger and acquisition activity just beginning to get going and you look at retrench. worsening in europe, it all spells for trouble for politicians. >> but for some reason, margaret, the threat of recession doesn't seem to be scaring our elected officials. >> the days of 11th hour negotiations are over. washington democrats have gotten used to republicans bailing them out of their own lack of
responsibility. those days have passed. >> margaret, the cuts, the sequester, a stupid name for a stupid thing, were designed to be a poisoned pill so, draconian that they would push both parties to agree on a debt reduction plan because the consequence would be so horrible that it couldn't possibly happen. they haven't come to a deal. how do you see this fight ending? >> well, look, there's a little bit of time and news that the senate democrats are moving to put forward a proposition for a smarter prior toization of cuts that don't undermine the functioning of the federal government. that's what we're going for here. we're going for a deal that's smarter than the across-the-board cuts that actually could hurt the economy. the republicans have passed two different versions in the house so you've got to wait till the senate does something and hopefully they can come together in conference and send it to the president for a signature. that's what we want to happen. it looks like harry reid is going to move something february 25th. that's the best-case scenario. but if the senate doesn't move
we might just have a sequester. >> that is going to spell trouble. this comes back to america's $16.5 trillion in debt. a new poll from the pew research center shows that americans want their elected officials to stop kicking the this can down the road. 72% of americans say deficit reduction should be a top priority for president and the congress, up 19 percentage points in the last four years. that ranks third, by the way, behind strengthening the economy and improving the jobs situation. i'm not sure how you prioritize these things, john, because they're all important, all crucial. you say the president the uniquely positioned to deal with the deficit, coming out as the top issue for people. why? >> absolutely. for two reasons, ali. first of all, president obama is in the sweet spot of his presidency, the moment of maximum leverage that occurs for a president right after re-election. basically around 18 months at the start of a second term where a president can push through almost anything he wants.
second of all, he's positioned to pull a nixon in china. just as only a committed anti-communist like nixon could go to china, someone like president obama could appeal to his base and still get tough entitlement cuts through as part of a grand bargain. this is a moment of rare opportunity but it takes presidential leadership and there's been lacking. >> one approach that republicans have put forward is the idea of a balanced budget amendment. >> the real cause of our debt is that our government has been spending $1 trillion more than it takes in every year. that's why we need a balanced budget amendment. >> republicans, margaret, are not blameless in this, bush era tax cuts, wars in afghanistan and iraq are major drivers. the spending cuts that a balanced budget amendment would require could cripple the economy.
austerity hasn't worked in europe. why does marco rubio think it would work in america? >> look, what you have to keep in mind is when marco rubio said that. he said that in his response to the president's state of the union right before rand paul was about to give the tea party response to the state of the union. what marco is trying to do here is politically position himself as almost a unifier of the tea party and mainstream conservative fiscal conservatives in the republican party. so, look, the balanced budget amendment is red meat to the tea party. they believe in it because they want fiscal responsibility. i think that was a political and tactical play on his part more than a reasonable or achievable fiscal possibility. >> john? >> bumper sticker politics. it's not serious. it doesn't reflect the realities of government, but it's a popular and powerful contrast the with the democrats because many states have balanced budget
amendments and operate just fine. federal government is more complex but the more reason for president obama to set a clear contrast. if the republicans want to focus slowly on spending with the example of usausterity in europ there's the opportunity for him to be the advocate of a grand bargain, entitlement reform, more measured spending cuts that wouldn't put the economy in recession. the fact congress is going on vacation with this looming says it all. >> unbelievable. >> no pressure from the markets. let's be honest. stocks near five-year highs, low interest rates, so there's no fire burning to fix it because the markets aren't screaming. but that day could come and they're not laying groundwork. >> thanks. margaret, john, great to see you, too. christine will stay. washington has big problems and most of the talk is about small solutions. but there are lawmakers in washington focused on what the country needs to do. i'll talk to one of them next.
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the sequester is a stupid name for a stupid thing. it's the second mini cliff that came out of last year's big fiscal cliff. the sequester is the series of automatic across-the-board cuts to government agencies. it will total $1.2 trillion over ten years. the cuts would be split half between defense and domestic discretionary spending. it was put in place as a stopgap measure to control the growth of the u.s. national debt which exploded upward when the 2007 recession hit. it now stands at more than $16 trillion. the sequester has been coming for more than a year with congress pushing it back to march 1st as part of the fiscal cliff deal that happened at the end of 2012. but it is already having an impact on economic growth.
the commerce department says a large cut in federal spending, primarily on defense, cribbed to the 0.1% decrease in gdp. that's how we measure economic growth in the united states during the last three months of 2012. democrat, including the president, are pushing for more revenue, tacks, mostly from ending some tax breaks. republicans, of course, say bring on that fight. >> the president wants more tax hikes that destroy job s the democrat allies in the senate caught to take it up. this isn't what america are looking for and i think many in the president's own party won't support those ideas. >> senator john ny isaacson jois me, a former businessman, very reasonable guy. you were on this show in mid-january. we discussed the debt ceiling. you voted against the deal to suspend the debt ceiling with 34
of your fellow senators but it passed anyway. what yo do you need to see in a bill to avoid the sequester sometime between now and the end of february? >> ali, first of all, as someone who did run a business for 22 years, i'm embarrassed about the way we're operating the country right now and i want to say that up front. sequestration is a bad idea. we ought to be doing our business, approapriating and budgeting, making decisions on cost b-benefit analysis. these continual deadlines and cliffs is no way to run a country much less a company. >> when you run a company, you have these things called poison pills. that's what the sequestration was. something to awful it would prevent a certain course of action from taking place. why is it that elected officials don't treat that the same way that you would if you were in business? if you had a poison pill in your business to say if you don't do something x will happen or if you do x would happen, you'd avoid that bad thing. a poison pill portends at some
point in time you have to take it. congress has become an expert at pushing that pill down the road and putting it off for another few months like the proposal from the democrats now to put it off until the end of the year. it's time we got down to business of running the country like a business, appropriating, budgeting, reforming our entitlements, reforming our spending, our corporate tax code. >> you mentioned the democratic proposal. let's talk act that for a second. the democrats put out a plan last week to replace the sequester. the main points are it would delay defense cuts until next year, it would save $27.5 billion through what it calls modest defense cuts over seven years. the plan would save the same amount by cutting farm subsidies and ending some direct payments to farmers, enact a butch fette rule, the millionaires tax, raising $55 billion that way, and end some corporate tax breaks and close the loopholes for the oil industry. senator, is there anything in that democratic proposal that you can support? >> well, the problem is the premise of the proposal.
we got a ten month postponement of skwequestration but only ove ten years does it pay for the $85 billion over that ten months. we should appropriate money, have the committees meet, decide where we're going to cut, make the cuts based on spending. if we have a revenue issue we ought to reform the code, not just pick on an industry like oil or aviation and try and gig them a little bit. we ought to have a comprehensive reform. >> how do we achieve that working up against deadlines? what you're talk about is a good discussion. >> i appreciate your asking the question that way because for me i'm one of the five republicans that voted for simpson/bowles when it was created. i'll never understand why the president blinked and didn't send it to the congress when he got it over two years ago. but that's the way we have to approach it. we have a big problem, $16.5 trillion in debt, zero quit in our country, basically 100% mortgaged. it's time we sat down and
realized -- >> i agree with you wholeheartedly. the problem is as you said you hate the way we run things. we're now up against a deadline in two weeks. what do we do, hit sequestration and have these across-the-board cuts which you as a businessman would agree are sloppy, not targeted, not going to work the right way, or do we what do what you're suggesting or should have done but it's going to take months? >> let me make one suggestion. sequestration will go into effect on march 1st. march 27th we have to extend it. it is an open opportunity in time where we could make those cults in the continuing resolution for the remaining eight, ten months of the year, then take that time to make the cuts for the other nine years. it's doable if we have the intestinal fortitude to do it. >> march 28th is a tay if it doesn't work the government could shut down. you don't foresee that. >> i don't foresee that
happening. i think republicans learned a real good lesson with speaker gingrich in offense. shutting the government down is a bad idea. making sure social security checks are delivered is important. but it's a better idea to run the country like it's supposed to be run, make cuts where you have to, and if you want to change the tax code, do it but in the context of the macro sense not the micro. >> wish we'd been doing that for the last several years. >> me, too. >> senator, good to talk to you. john johnny isakson of georgia. wait until my next topic, the minimum wage, a subject that has divided economicis for a century. get ready for a cage fight with christine romans. and oscar pistorius charged with murder. nike learns once again pinning a rep you tiges on a star name is risky. ♪ you know my heart burns for you... ♪
three hot business stories this week. minimum wage, nike, and carnival. minimum wage. i'm going to eviscerate christine, who has it all wrong. >> bring it on. >> right now it's $7.25 an hour, about $15,000 a year for a full-time worker. the president's proposal would raise the mip mum wage in three stages, reaching $9 by the end of 2015. not exactly a drastic move. this is a debate that has divided economicis for decades. for every study that says it doesn't hurt jobs you can find one that does. it's about to divide by colleague, christine romans, and me. i'm going to give you the advantage of going second. here's my take. america is the richest country in the world. the current minimum wage is a joke. if it kills jobs, then we have a bigger, deeper problem to consider. i don't care if you live in montana or manhattan, if you make $15,000 a year anywhere in america you are poor and your wage is a disgrace.
at nine bucks an hour it's $18,720 if you work full-time. better but you'd still be poor. check out australia, which has a minimum wage of almost $17 u.s. an hour. this is a moral less of an economic issue. raising the min mull wage does mean businesses, not taxpayers, share a bigger part of the burden of poverty in this country. it's not that we can't afford to pay a higher minimum wage, christine, it's that we can't afford not to. >> i agree with you on the moral part. if you think this is anything other than a moral certainty, that's the only we're sure about. i'm not convinced raising the minimum wage won't kill jobs for other people. small business owners say they will have to lay people off to pay others more money. we're talking about minimum wage jobs here and should be talking about the jobs we need $25 or $30 an hour job. this is a poverty inittive, not a middle class initiative. why? raising the minimum wage doesn't
create jobs in the middle and that's what we're looking for. it's almost a distraction and it doesn't fix the underlying problem. when you can't figure out how to add good quality middle class jobs, you duck and weave and raise wages on unskilled workers because everybody wants them to make more money. the studies are all over the place. there is no clear-cut answer on whether this will kill jobs. but we do know this -- businesses with 50 or more full-time employees have to pay health care coverage for the first time next year. they're struggling to survive in a world demand is not up, rens and costs are rising, they're scared to death. they see a president who doesn't get it. don't mistake this for a jobs plan, this is an anti-poverty plan. i think the president's call for universal preschool does a lot more on that front than raising the minimum wage. we have to figure hout tow to make sure people don't get stuck in minimum wage jobs but it's a short steppingstone and there are a lot of other good jobs out there. >> i can't even disagree when i try to with you.
we'll let the viewers decide who won that argument. follow us on twitter and facebook. another sports scandal, another headache for nike. they're the sponsor behind the most prominent athletes, tiger, lance. this time their $2 million deal with oscar pistorius, the south african runner and amputee now charged with shooting and killing his girlfriend, this is ad probably doesn't help. i am the bull net the chamber. although nike did pull it down, nike still has deals with michael vick and tiger woods but oscar pistorius may not be so lucky. >> certainly is more serious because it involves a homicide. they should at the very least suspend their relationship until absolute determination of whether he's guilty is determined. >> christine, obviously nike can't figure out. it sponsors a lot of athletes. some will do something wrong. i get when they sponsor an a athle athlete, people might buy more of their product. do you think anybody is not
buying because of it? >> i don't think so. they try to step back quietly, give their condolences to the family, let somebody be presumed innocent until proven guilty, and in some cases there may be a rehabilitation of an athlete to recover sponsorships later. this case is different. a young woman is dead in this case. and his sponsorships in total were something like $2 million so he was very well-known in south africa, not necessarily globally. nike has a lot of people they sponsor. i think this quietly goes away and i don't think the sponsorships come back for him. >> doesn't hurt nike that much. >> does not. >> let's talk about carnival. every time i turned on cnn tft something about 4,000 people stuck on a ship. >> and sloshing sewage in the halls of your cruiseship. bad for carnival. how will it manage this public image? the ceo, jerry cahill, was very quick to apologize. >> we pride ourselves in
providing our guests with a great vacation experience and clearly we failed in this particular case. >> carnival offering refunds, cash, a flight home, and cahill said he went on the ship to personally apologize to the passengers. but look where micky arison was this week. a miami heat game. he's the colorado of carnival corporation, which owns carnival, holland american, princess. he's also a part-owner of the heat. but he's courtside while those people are just desperate to be dockside. with analysts we talked to, they think people will keep wanting to book these cruises. >> good deals. they made it through the norwalk virus stuff, the costa concordia. people do tend to move on because they are a very good deal in tough economic times. >> the question is what kind of maybe settlements they'll have to come to. when you buy a ticket, it's clear, you know, people were just inconvenienced, no one was hurt. >> i understand that mikki
aaronson is a part owner of the miami heat but on tuesday we didn't know this was going to have a relatively happy ending. it just made me cringe to see a rich guy at a basketball game while these passengers are stuck on a boat. but anyway, good happy ending to the whole thing. coming up, gas prices are up. i'll tell you where you might benefit from the price of energy. we began with the rx. ♪ then we turned the page, creating the rx hybrid. ♪ now we've turned the page again with the rx f sport. ♪ this is the next chapter for the rx and the next chapter for lexus. this is the pursuit of perfection.
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i'm going to talk to you about gasoline prices then tell you where you might be benefitting from the price of energy. look at the average price per gasoline, jumped 35 cents a gallon in one month to $3.64 a gallon. everyone's asking why are prices so high. the biggest determinant of gas prices is by far oil, and it's been hanging around in the 95 to 100 dollar range for the last few months.
this is light sweet crude that is used in the united states. brent crude, which is the world standard, is actually much higher than this price. when oil goes up, gas prices go up. i do anything about gas prices. what i can tell you about is how you might be saving money elsewhere this the energy world and you you might make some money out of it. petroleum makes up 36% of our resources, coal 20%, renewables only 9%, nuclear energy 8%. take a look at the 26% that is natural gas. in the last five years we've been squeezing, pulling, and extracting natural gas from everywhere we can find it. this is a natural gas boom in this country. the amount extracted has gone up 19% over the course of five years. back in 2008, before the recession, natural gas was running at $13.31 per million british thermal units. that's how they measure it. today it's around 3.34 million.
while most people think the price will go back up maybe to, say, $6 per million, few believe that it's going to get up to that $13 we saw in 2008 anytime soon. that's because natural gas is a source of energy and what you're seeing is some conversion from other sources of electricity like coal into natural gas. a lot of companies that are heavy users of electricity like steel production or heavy industry manufacturing, are benefitting from this low price of natural gas. so you could see a boom in industry and industrial jobs in the united states because of this low price of natural gas. now you're not going to see much relief from higher gasoline prices anytime soon. you may be able to take advantage of the natural gas boom because you'll pay less on your electricity bill. you can also take advantage by investing in this domestic energy boom. here to talk more about this is steven leeb, an energy expert, heads leeb capital management. he's an author of many book, something of an energy expert. steven, let's talk about
fracking. that's what the boom is all act. it's a way to get natural gas from deep under ground. so we have a boom under way. but you don't believe it's something people should be investing in, particularly natural gas. >> i don't think people should be investing in the producers of natural gas, ali, because the commodity is so volatile. i mean, basically if the weather report changes natural gas can go up 10 or 15%. i've seen that. and when natural gas prices rise, typically i'm looking at colder weather if it's in the winter. if it's in the summer i'm looking at much hotter weather. so it's very difficult. with natural gas prices between 3 and 350 there are mott a lot of producers that will make any serious money here. >> you are one of those guy who is think the price of natural gas is going to go up to $5 or $6, maybe more. why is that not a good way to invest in this?
>> a, i could be wrong. b, in the economy we have today where it's so hard to earn money, if you put your money in the bank you'll be lucky to get 1% or 2%. there are companies that actually transport natural gas from one place to another in existing pipelines. they get paid for that. and they're structured -- >> regardless of what the price of natural gas is. >> regardless. they'll do a little better with higher natural gas. so you're not giving up the possibility that natural gas will go up. you still would do better. but what you are getting near term is a very, very good yield. companies like atlas pipeline. yields about 7%. and basically that yield is as secure as the transportation of natural gas. onok yields about 5%, and that, again, is is a very, very secure yield. if you really want to be a little more adventurous, maybe play lng, there's a company in california, sempra. they own renewable utilities,
they have a lot of natural gas and basically cover the gamut and yield about 3% and they have, i think, a lot of growth in front of them. so that would be one way. i think the best way for the typical person to play it, because you're getting decent immediate income and you're not giving up chances for capital appreciation. >> always a pleasure to talk with you. thank you for being with us. the natural gas gas market is on fire, literally. but video clips like this haven't put a stop to fracking. the number of gas wells in this country continues to grow. coming up, i'll ask documentary filmmaker josh clops what it takes to make fracking safe. hello? yes. i didn't realize i'd be talking to an actual person. you don't need to press "0," i'm here. reach a person, not a prompt whenever you call chase sapphire. why should saturday night have all the fun? get two times the points on dining in restaurants,
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those of you who are regular viewers know my argument that america is on the edge of an economic rens sans has a lot to do with the natural gas boom that's under way. that's because of major advances in the extraction of natural gas from the ground, called hydraulic fracturings, or fracking. these new technologies enable drillers to extract oil and gas encased in shale formations throughout the country -- the northeast, the mountain, the west coast, the plain states. domestic natural gas has a lot of boosters including t. boone pickens. >> we have the most natural gas of anybody and we've got to use it. it's cleaner, it's cheaper, it's abundant, and it's ours. >> and the result is that natural gas has become even more abun dandant and a cheaper, abo quarter of what it cost five years ago. gas companies are paying americans whose property sit on natural gas formations. that's making a lot of americans
wealthy. and according to some very sick. new york has put a moratorium on fracking in the state, and this week that moratorium was extended to spend more time reviewing health effects that shale drilling and fracking could have on local communities. now, the 2010 movie "gas land" took a highly critical view of the expansion of fracking and the state of regulatory oversight over it. have a listen. >> as we drove in the yard, there was this huge rig and semis, and the smell is so intense, the benzene was so intense that we ran for our deck. so we're in the house i'd say mostly at the most 15 minutes when i got up and passed out. and you get pains, pains all over your body. you don't know why you're getting the pains. and then they come and go. >> josh fox is the filmmaker. josh, good to see you. thank you for being with us. you didn't start up with a problem with natural gas. in fact, you own a property where they were offering to pay
you money. >> well, absolutely. it was a lease that was worth initially about $100,000 and then of course the promise of more once royalties are running in. but now i am in a situation where i am surrounded in the upper delaware, which is part of the watershed for new york city and philadelphia, about 16 million people, i'm surrounded by people who have leased. and we jekted that offer because we found out or i did traveling around the country on a sort of fact-finding mission that this is devastating to live near. when you talk act money, you know, if the people across from me, for example, get the right to drill, which so far they haven't, so pictures like these actually have stopped drilling in places like new york and the upper delaware river -- >> but according to your film and other research, there's a whole lot of that going on across the country. >> there is. what i'm saying to you, if they were to drill, and this is my experience talking to people, my house is worthless. it's not that much, $150,000,
$200,000, but if they drill next to me, those people make $150,000 and they've taken that money out of my pocket. and there's millions of people in that situation. we'll come out with "gas land two" which tracks these stories emblematic of people around the nation who have literally been forced to move out of properties that they've been on for three or four generations. this is not a small problem. this is a huge problem. >> talk about your main criticism of the oil and gas industry is that fracking has been exempt from the clean water -- the safe drinking water act of 2005. can you explain this? >> basically in 2005 the bush-cheney government and the congress passed the energy policy act, which contained something called the halliburton loophole, an xemings to the safe drinking wagter act. our primary public health ground water protection law for americans. it states if you are injecting toxic materials in the ground, you have to report them to the epa. they're exempt from that. and the fracking process injects
enormous toxic -- >> members of congress put forward a bill to take that exemption out. this is from your film. >> thanks. >> i'm not personally familiar with your bill, ma'am. >> it makes chemical uses in hydraulic fracturing subject to the reporting requirements of the safe drinking water act. >> as stated earlier, we believe that the current regulatory -- >> yes or no? >> we believe the current regulatory -- >> so, yes, you would object to my bill because you don't think we would need to report it under the safe drinking water act even though you say the chemicals are safe. correct? >> correct. >> so what happened with that? >> well, the frac act died. it wasn't a priority. when the republicans took over congress, it wasn't getting on the agenda. >> if it were subject to the safe drinking act, you'd have fewer problems with it. >> no. >> your film says they put in 500 some odd chemicals. >> this is the tip of the iceberg. the chemicals is is a small piece of the problem. a gas well is a pipe of steel surrounded by cement. that cement cracks and leaks at
enormous rates. the natural gas industry's only statistic, and you can take a look at this in "the sky is pink," say 5% of the cement cracks and fails within -- immediately. and 50% fails over a 30-year period which means you're creating a conduit punching through the aquifers throughout this nation. if you want to look at the areas of proposed drilling, a visual aid, that's the map of gas exploration in the united states. this is the proposal, 1 to 2 million new wells in america at the high end, one well per 150 people. >> josh fox is writer and director of "gas land." thanks for joining us. >> i really appreciate it. >> what is the most expensive thing the government spends money on? it now costs twice as much as everything else the government spends money on combined. (subway announcer; "now arriving at city hospital")
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spending. the problem in washington is that neither side is listening to each other but lucky for you i am listening to everyone. >> now is our best chance for bipartisan, comprehensive tax reform. >> americans do not -- do not support sacrificing real spending cuts for more tax hikes. >> now, conservatives, i get where your frustration is coming from. with the state of the economy right now, it feels like your tax money is being tossed into a black hole and you get nothing in return. that's what it really comes down to -- a return on your investment, your tax. well, it's true. over the last 50 years or so, our government has gone from being one that invests in the future to one that feeds consumption. has gone from being one that invests in the future to consumption. entitlement rose to two-thirds of government spending over that time and our debt is out of control. raising rates on the rich alone won't cut it in terms of revenue if we're going to bring down the
debt. everyone has to pay more. my solution is we use some of that additional revenue to fix our crumbling infrastructure. that will kick start investment, employment and america's future. the u.s. was just ranked 25th in overall quality of infrastructure by the world economic forum. we tied for 33rd with bosnia, herzegovina with the state of our electrical grid investing in infrastructure does end up paying in the long and short term. every dollar spent boosts gdp by $2 and when companies see the u.s. investing in electric grids and roads and broadband, it becomes worth it for them to return to the u.s. and invest. president obama explained well in his state of the union on tuesday. ask any ceo where they would locate and hire, a country with deteriorating roads and bridges or high speed rail and internet?
self-healing power grids, hi-tech schools. the ceo of see mens america said that if weup grade our infrastructure, they'll bring even more jobs. >> christine romans back again. will cane is a cnn contributor. will, just hold on a second. >> can i great -- congratulations. who told you taxes are going to go up on everyone? there's not rich people in the country to pay for everything we've asked for. >> i would like -- i've always been the record on this but i would like a return on investment. if your taxes are going up, i'd like to think we're getting something in return. i heard you muttering about this on the break. you're going to say i think this is a job creation program, that infrastructure is not a great job creation program. i'm not worried about as a job creation program. it will be great if we build these things and they create jobs. i'm concerned about the fact in 15 or 20 years, if we do not
keep our infrastrek tour up, businesses will go to countries with good infrastructure and not go to the united states. >> in your setup, you said over the last 50 years, our economy mass moved from one that invests in the future to one that fuels consumption. the word you left out is appropriately. is that an provide the role for the government? is that the role of government is it to continue to put little chinks in front of the pack mann so we can continue to eat it? i say it shows very little faith in the american entrepreneur, the country that invented the iphone, one of the highest per capita gdp, that gave birth to willie nelson. we don't feed to you fuel consumption. >> the criticism, christine, we are spending our tax dollars, let's be clear on this on consumption. we're giving it in the form of checks to people and hoping they will stimulate the economy by taking that money and spending it. when in fact we're not taking tax dollars and use it to fund
an infrastructure bank where we're fixing roads and bridges and building new infrastructure. >> this is a survey. affordable health care 38% job creation, 36% public education, improving health care overall, what you get for your dollar in health care, 24%. americans deliver between men and women what they want their tax dollars. men prefers jobs programs. women prefer quality health care. we don't agree how we want to spend our money but all of those things are paying for things that americans are used to. >> formula one of them are talking about infrastructure. nobody ever says i want my tax dollars to build a better electrical grid and build bridges because we assume that is somehow paid for. >> we do. that's a good transition where we agree. infrastructure is a fine investment if it creates better infrastructure. build a bridge because it needs building. don't have it be busy work for the american worker because it's
poor at that. infrastructure has to be targeted, timely and it already rarely isn't those things. if you need a bridge, build it. all right? and if we had d grade infrastructure. >> we have bridges but they're too narrow. you can't sell somebody on widening a bridge but that's going to mean more volume and traffic on that bridge later. it's an investment for the future, not for a job created right now. >> can i get agreement on that? >> yes, but not a jobs program. >> at the end of this block, america be great. we can have willie nelson he's born all the time. is coming up, a monster of an airline coming together. you're probably worried it means fares. i'll tell you why it probably won't. unstuff your nose. what? [ male announcer ] alka-seltzer plus liquid gels speeds relief to your worst cold symptoms plus has a decongestant for your stuffy nose. thanks. that's the cold truth!
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